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Memory Chalet

Judt, Tony

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ISBN 10: 009955559X / ISBN 13: 9780099555599
Published by Vintage Books
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2011. Paperback. Features the essays that chart some of the author's experiences or remembrances: his youthful love of a particular London bus route that evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning; and memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris that meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: DNF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 15. Weight in Grams: 176. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099555599

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Memory Chalet

Publisher: Vintage Books

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: New

About this title


It might be thought the height of poor taste to ascribe good fortune to a healthy man with a young family struck down at the age of sixty by an incurable degenerative disorder from which he must shortly die. But there is more than one sort of luck. In 2008, historian Tony Judt learnt that he was suffering from a disease that would eventually trap his extraordinary mind in a declining and immobile body. At night, sleepless in his motionless state, he revisited the past in an effort to keep himself sane, and his dictated essays form a memoir unlike any you have read before. Each one charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the sexual politics of Europe, a series of roadtrips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. And everything is as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet - a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.


Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: In 2008 Tony Judt, the historian and essayist whose book Postwar was quickly recognized as one of the landmark works of our time, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was soon almost fully paralyzed, but before his death in the summer of 2010 he managed to produce not only two works of political and intellectual history, Ill Fares the Land and the upcoming Thinking the Twentieth Century, but also a series of short essays that had a breathtaking reception when they appeared, a few at a time, in the New York Review of Books. The pieces were remarkable both for their content and their method of composition: isolated at night in the prison of his paralysis, Judt would sort through his memories, arranging them, to better remember them, in the "rooms" of a Swiss chalet he recalled from an idyllic childhood visit, before dictating them in the morning to be published. The essays are at times political but always personal, calling up memories of food, youth, sex, education, train travel, and other subjects with a clarity and intensity born of both his historian's skills of observation and judgment and the heightened awareness of time's passage imposed by his undeniable mortality. Collected now in The Memory Chalet, these reflections make up a memoir that evokes, with clear-eyed passion, the life of the mind, as well as the body. --Tom Nissley

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